Greece`s Left in govt bid, says EU bailout deal `invalid`

Alexis Tsipras leader of Left Coalition party was on Tuesday given the tough task of forming an anti-bailout government.

Zeenews Bureau

Athens: Alexis Tsipras, leader of Left-wing Syriza bloc said on Tuesday that the bailout agreement was "invalid" as the parties supporting it were no longer in majority.

Tsipras, whose left-wing bloc Syriza was given the mandate of forming a government after Antonis Samaras, failed to do so, said that Greek voters had sent a clear message by rejecting the pro-bailout parties in Sunday`s vote.

"The pro-bailout parties no longer have a majority in parliament to vote in destructive measures for the Greek people," said the 38-year-old Tsipras. “The popular mandate clearly renders the bailout agreement invalid," he added.

Tsipras said his government-building drive would focus on ending "the loan agreements of subservience" with Greece`s international bailout creditors.

Left Coalition party garnered the second highest number of votes and will try to woo small parties to forge a leftist government that would be a first in Greece’s modern history. But the numbers don’t seem to agree with Tsipras having only 71 seats in the 300 seat parliament available to any potential leftwing alliance.

According to reports, Tsipras will manage to win the support of smaller left-wing party, Democratic Left, but the communist KKE has already snubbed him.

Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party yesterday failed to put together a coalition saying it was “impossible” for him to form a government.

Greeks, angered and frustrated by huge unemployment rate and steep wage cuts, punished the mainstream political parties - the New Democracy and Socialist PASOK – for imposing tough austerity measures for sake of an EU/IMF bailout to avert a sovereign default.

These two parties have been ruling Greece since decades but in Sunday’s election they ended with less than enough seats to form a new government.

An anti-austerity wave seems to have gripped a large chunk of eurozone with France recently electing a socialist Francois Hollande who said that he would work out an alternative other than austerity.

Even Italians have sent a clear message against austerity by voting against mainstream parties as Beppe Grillo ‘s anti-euro movement struck the right chords with austerity-hit people.

Concerned by the burgeoning anti-austerity sentiments across eurozone, the European Union and Germany — the biggest contributor to the EU`s crisis fund — urged members to stick to their agreed budget cuts.

The end of the debt policy has been agreed in Europe. It has to stay that way," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed that member states must implement their promised spending cuts and tax hikes.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy called for an informal summit of the EU`s 27 leaders on May 23 to discuss economic growth and to prepare for a summit in June focused on job creation.

What Next

In what is being dubbed as an election earthquake, Greeks have made themselves vulnerable to a political turmoil with the chance of a stable government being formed are negligible.

According to analysts, even Alexis Tsipras will find it a herculean task to gather enough support so as to form a government.

Meanwhile, Mr Tsipras is into talks with President Karolos Papoulias, who is expected to give him three days to try to form a coalition.

In case, Left Coalition party too fails, the mandate will pass to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos.

If government formation fails to take place, the only wayout for Greece is repeat elections that could see the country sink neck deep in further uncertainty.

With agencies’ inputs